Planning & Exercising Specialist

Washington D.C
Sep 18, 2023
Sep 29, 2023
Full Time
Marketing Statement

Do you have a passion for emergency planning? Are you driven with ensuring emergency procedures/methods are followed to ensure the safety of employees and customers? Do you thrive in an environment that handles large-scale emergencies?

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is seeking a Planning and Exercise Specialist who will be responsible for developing and implementing policies, procedures, and programs in support of the Planning and Exercising Section which is within the Metro Integrated Command and Communication Center (MICC).

The Planning & Exercising Specialist will operate out of two locations within the Washington DC metro area. The two locations will be the headquarters office located at L'Enfant Plaza in Washington DC and the Eisenhower building located in Virginia. The incumbent will also be responsible for consequence management planning, exercise efforts, and coordination of the First Responder Trainings that occur on weekends.

Due to the importance of this role, the incumbent will be required to be and work onsite (this is not a hybrid/remote position), during emergencies and special events and will need to be available with short notice when needed. Additional responsibilities will consist of the following:
  • Execution of policy and program initiatives
  • Developing emergency management training programs, writing training curriculum, conducting training courses and exercises
  • Report creation to include writing after-action reports.

The successful candidate must be familiar with and have knowledge of the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS), Incident Command System (ICS), and the Homeland Security Exercise/Evaluation Program (HSEEP).

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in planning, Education, Emergency Management, Fire Science, Engineering, Business Administration, Public Administration, or other related fields
    • In lieu of a bachelor's degree, a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED) and four (4) years of performing frontline experience in planning, emergency management or instruction in an operationally complex organization, or any combination of experience, and in addition to the

Minimum Experience

A minimum of four (4) years of experience developing plans, and/or designing and delivering exercises and trainings, in emergency management, crisis management, risk management, business continuity, or another related field, in an operationally complex environment

Preferred Qualifications
  • A master's degree Planning, Education, Emergency Management, Fire Science, Engineering, Business Administration, Public Administration, or other related fields
  • Certification in the field of Planning, Exercising (e.g., HSEEP and Master Exercise Practitioner), Advanced Instruction or Emergency Management (e.g., IAEM)
  • Applied knowledge, experience or certification related to Safety Management Systems
  • Knowledge of transit operations and relevant emergency management principles, risks and strategies in a transit or transportation operating environment
  • A minimum of four (4) years of experience developing plans, and/or designing and delivering exercises and trainings, in emergency management, crisis management, risk management, business continuity, or another related field, in an operationally complex environment

  • A valid motor vehicle operator's license from the jurisdiction of residence

Satisfactorily complete the medical examination for this position, if required. The incumbent must be able to perform the essential functions of this position either with or without reasonable accommodations.

Mission Essential Designation

In accordance with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) this job has been identified as critical to mission essential functions. Incumbents in this role may be required to report to or continue to work in the event of authorized office closings or service suspensions due to severe weather, natural disaster, fire, operational emergencies, or related events.


The Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP) mission is a 24/7/365 commitment to mitigating, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from planned and unplanned events. The office is a part of the Department of Safety's Safety Management Oversight function.

A Planning and Exercising Specialist is a member of the Planning and Exercise team, which executes and coordinates all the necessary activities to ensure the Authority (across rail, bus, paratransit, and administrative functions) has the effective plans, exercises and trainings in place in order to professionally respond, recover, mitigate and prevent any emergency, crisis, or disaster.

The incumbent develops, manages, and continually improves emergency preparedness plans, and prepares, coordinates and research policies and programs related to fire protection/prevention and rescue activities across the Authority. The incumbent also develops and coordinates exercises and training activities with jurisdictional fire departments and represents the Authority on regional planning or coordination committees, such as the Council of Governments (COG).

The work relies on effective communication and liaison with senior management and frontline staff from both Metro and external partner agencies and is inextricably linked with the Authority's Safety Management System. The incumbent has excellent written and verbal communication skills, is experienced writing plans and/or exercises, and is able to deliver multiple, complex projects and programs with administrative ease; the position requires a proven record of delivering results on time, within budget, and in collaboration with multiple departments and stakeholders.

  • Leads the development, coordination and continual improvement of emergency plans relating to prevention, readiness, response, recovery, and mitigation across the Authority, including rail, bus, paratransit, facilities, construction, IT and administration.
  • Develops and delivers tests, exercises, training, and education programs to prepare internal and external leaders and frontline responders for emergency incidents, including Authority executives, managers, and employees along with jurisdictional response agencies.
  • Responsible for establishing, building, and maintaining relationships with regional governmental, federal and community officials and organizations on emergency management coordination efforts, information sharing, and special events/exercises. Represents the Authority on a wide range of internal and external emergency management activities, committees, task forces, teams, and meetings.
  • Responsible for developing, managing and delivering strategic initiatives to address emergency preparedness needs to support the readiness of the agency to respond to emergency incidents, in coordination with multiple agencies across the region. In this respect, manages projects, programs, policies, and procedures related to emergency preparedness, organizational risk management, Safety Management System, and other related topics.
  • Responsible for planning, preparing and coordinating the delivery of family assistance program and other critical programs and contracts required to prepare for, respond, recover and mitigate emergency incidents, crises and disasters.
  • Responsible for establishing and managing the data, processes, and systems to provide information (e.g. weather) to internal partners in order to make decisions related to incident and crisis response and recovery.
  • Performs other duties to support the Director, other OEP teams, the Chief Safety Officer and Department of Safety, or other operational departments on a temporary basis as operational requirements demand on a 24/7/365 basis.
  • Plays a lead role in programs and projects to ensure the continuous improvement of OEP's planning and exercising functions to attain the Authority's goals for a comprehensive emergency preparedness and crisis management strategy that satisfies the highest standards, international best practices, and the business needs of one of the largest and high-profile transit systems in the United States.

The essential duties listed are not intended to limit specific duties and responsibilities of any position. Nor is it intended to limit in any way the right of managers and supervisors to assign, direct and control the work of employees under their supervision.

Evaluation Criteria

Consideration will be given to applicants whose resumes demonstrate the required education and experience. Applicants should include all relevant education and work experience.

Evaluation criteria may include one or more of the following:
  • Skills and/or behavioral assessment
  • Personal interview
  • Verification of education and experience (including certifications and licenses)
  • Criminal Background Check (a criminal conviction is not an automatic bar to employment)
  • Medical examination including a drug and alcohol screening (for safety sensitive positions)
  • Review of a current motor vehicle report


WMATA is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by applicable federal law. This posting is an announcement of a vacant position under recruitment. It is not intended to replace the official job description. Job descriptions are available upon confirmation of an interview.